Molecular Cellular and Integrative Biosciences
Faculty associated with the Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Biosciences Graduate Degree Program at Penn State, and a summary of their research interests
Faculty are listed in alphabetical order by last name. To see more information about a faculty member, click on his/her name.
James AdairNanoscale materials and phenomena for biological, electronic, optical and structural applications, property manipulation for designer particles and materials, colloid and interfacial chemistry, material synthesis and chemistry, powder characterization, powder processing, and commercialization and regulatory pathways for nanomedical human healthcare
Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Director of the Ceramic & Composite Materials Center
Charles AndersonOur lab studies plant cell wall dynamics, with the goal of informing efforts to produce sustainable food, materials, and bioenergy from plants. We use in vivo imaging and cell biological, molecular, biochemical, and genetic approaches in the model plants Arabidopsis thaliana and Physcomitrella patens
Assistant Professor of Biology
Philip BevilacquaThe Bevilacqua lab is interested in RNA folding and interactions with proteins, focusing on biologically important systems including viral replication and the human viral response, as well as how RNA mediates responses to abiotic stresses in plants.
Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Co-Director, Center for RNA Molecular Biology
Maciej F BoniMaciej Boni's research group works at the intersection of field epidemiology and computational epidemiology. They have led the way in computational techniques for serological time series, which can be used to reconstruct complete disease dynamics in populations.
Associate Professor of Biology
Justin BrownOur lab seeks to understand the fundamental mechanisms by which biomaterial interfaces alter the proliferation, migration and differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells, and to apply these principles in the intelligent design of biomaterial scaffolds that facilitate generation or regeneration of musculoskeletal tissues; application of systems biology to identify changes in the interactome of osteoprogenitor cells on nanofiber substrates
Assistant Professor of Bioengineering
Margherita CantornaVitamin A and vitamin D regulation of the microbiota and host immunity. Utilizing animal models of multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease and gastrointestinal infection.
Distinguished Professor in Molecular Immunology
Chair, Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Immunology and Infectious Diseases
John CarlsonMolecular genetics, genomics and biotechnology of woody plants related to development, environmental stress, carbon sequestration and genome organization.
Professor of Molecular Genetics, Department of Ecosystem Science and Management
Director, Schatz Center for Tree Molecular Genetics
Isabella CattadoriMy lab is interested in the immuno-epidemiology of co-infection, how host immunity modulates parasite interactions and transmission and how host molecular processes explain the dynamics of infection at the population level. A combination of laboratory experiments, long-term field monitoring and a number of different infectious agents (helminths, bacteria and viruses) are used in these studies.
Associate Professor of Biology
Douglas CavenerRegulation of gene expression underlying neonatal development & organ system physiology; mouse models of human congenital diseases including juvenile diabetes, metabolic disorders, skeletal dysplasias, and central nervous system dysfunctions.
Dean of Penn State's Eberly College of Science
Majid FooladGenetic characterization of resistance/tolerance to biotic/abiotic stresses, and genes/QTLs contributing to tomato fruit quality. Investigation of genes/QTLs for directed crop improvement and germplasm enhancement. Tomato cultivar development & release.
Professor of Plant Genetics, Department of Plant Science
Adam GlickResearch in my lab focuses on the role of Transforming Growth Factor-beta in cutaneous inflammation and cancer development, and how the immune system responds to epithelial cells with activated oncogenes such as Ras. We are also interested in signaling pathways that regulate senescence of premalignant epithelial cells and how cells escape from oncogene-induced senescence.
Professor of Molecular Toxicology and Carcinogenesis
Chair, Molecular Medicine Program
Associate Chair, Molecular Cellular and Integrative Biosciences
John GolbeckLight reactions in photosynthesis. Structure and function of photosystem I and the heliobacterial reaction center. Regulation and bioassembly of iron-sulfur clusters in cyanobacteria and plants. Plant and bacterial metalloproteins. Generation using Photosystem I, hydrogenase, and molecular wire technology.
Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Professor of Chemistry
Thomas GouldThe goal of my research is to use genetic, pharmacological, behavioral, and molecular biological techniques to study the neurobiology of learning and memory and the effects of addiction on it. Current research interests focus on identifying the cellular and molecular events that underlie the effects of nicotine on learning and memory with a specific emphasis on how those effects change as drug administration transitions from acute to chronic drug use and how adolescence may change sensitivity to these effects of nicotine.
Jean Phillips Shibley Professor of Biobehavioral Health
Head, Department of Biobehavioral Health
Mark GuiltinanPlant molecular and developmental biology. Starch biosynthesis. Tropical plant biotechnology. Plant-pathogen interactions. Biofuel feedstock production.
Professor of Plant Molecular Biology, Department of Plant Science
Director, Endowed Program in the Molecular Biology of Cocoa
Susan HafensteinWe use a structural approach to learn more about viral infectivity, tropism, evolution and pathogenicity. Of particular interest are conformational changes of the virus capsid structure that occur as a response to key events that direct a successful infection, such as receptor binding prior to host entry. We are also developing approaches to visualize critical events that cause a break from the regular symmetry of the virus, including packaging of the genome, receptor usage, antibody interactions and uncoating of the viral genome during the final stages of infection.
Assistant Professor of Medicine & Microbiology and Immunology
Molly HallMy research is focused on building tools to elucidate the complex genetic and environmental underpinnings of human disease. My lab works to integrate genetic (genotype, sequence, structural variation) and exposure (derived from surveys and metabolomics methods) big data to predict disease status. The ultimate goals of this work are to 1) enrich our understanding of the complex mechanisms that lead to common disease and 2) provide methods to identify those most at risk of disease (based on their genetic and exposure backgrounds) in a clinical setting.
Assistant Professor, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Daniel HayesThe Hayes lab group focuses on biomaterials engineering for applications ranging from regenerative medicine to lab-on-a-chip technologies. The research efforts in these areas are materials centered with an emphasis on nanomaterials, macromolecules and composite structures. Ongoing efforts in the lab include the development of optically and magnetically modulated drug delivery systems, quasi 3D cell sheet culture systems, cell encapsulation and delivery materials and hybrid in situ polymerizing grafts/augments.
Associate Prof of Biomedical Engineering
Timothy JeglaWe are interested in understanding how ion channels control signaling in the nervous system. We focus on potassium channel-mediated control of firing threshold and ionic mechanisms involved in the generation and processing of sensory potentials. Our research relies on a combination of mouse genetics, electrophysiology, cell biology and compound screening approaches.
Associate Professor of Biology
Joyce JoseVirus-host interactions involved in the pathogenesis of alphaviruses and flaviviruses. Analysis of virus induced structures and cytoskeletal modifications in mammalian host and insect vector using high-resolution live cell imaging and electron microscopy. Viral determinants of neurotropism, encephalitis, transmission and persistence in BSL-3 pathogens.
Assistant Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Seogchan KangMajor lab goals are: to improve biocontrol via enhanced understanding of chemical ecology underpinning plant-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions; To advance our understanding of the molecular, cellular, and evolutionary mechanisms underpinning plant-fungal pathogen interactions; To support community research, education and extension on plant diseases by archiving and disseminating phylogenetic and genomic data from major pathogen groups through web-based informatics platforms.
Professor, Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology
Vivek KapurResearch in my Laboratory seeks to define the basic mechanisms by which pathogenic microbes successfully infect, colonize, and cause disease in their hosts. The research effort is organized along two thematic lines:
Associate Director for Strategic Initiatives, Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences
Professor of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Suresh Kuchipudi-Diagnostic Virology & Serology -Zoonotic and Emerging Viruses -Negative strand RNA viruses -Avian and Mammalian influenza -Immune responses to viruses -Viral pathogenesis Quantitative-omics approach to virus-host interactions
Clinical Associate Professor
Section Head Mammalian Virology & Immunology
Joshua LambertDietary polyphenols in prevention of obesity and fatty liver disease; efficacy and mechanisms of action of food-derived phytochemicals in prevention of lung cancer; biotransformation, bioavailability and potential hepatotoxicity of dietary phytochemicals
Assistant Professor, Food Science
Wansheng LiuStructural, functional and comparative genomics of the mammalian Y‐chromosome; characterization of Y-chromosome variations and their application in male health, fertility, and reproduction in cattle and other livestock species; function of the PRAME/PRAMEY gene family during spermatogenesis in cattle and mice
Associate Professor of Genomics
Yingwei MaoMy lab studies the mechanisms that regulate neurogenesis using cellular and mouse models. In the short term, I would like to focus my research program in determining how abnormal neural progenitor cell (NPC) proliferation and differentiation may lead to mental illnesses. My long-term plan is to use the reagents, experimental systems, mouse models that I develop to further screen novel drugs that can reverse the behavior phenotype in our mouse model and eventually benefit patients with psychiatric disorders.
Assistant Professor of Biology
B. Tracy NixonStructural and functional basis of two component signal transduction. Structural basis for how AAA+ ATPases perform mechanical work to activate transcription by remodeling the sigma54-form of bacterial RNA polymerase.
Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Curtis OmiecinskiOur research centers on the study of human variability in chemical detoxication, an area termed 'toxicogenomics.'
Professor of Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences
H. Thomas and Dorothy Willits Hallowell Chair
Co-chair, Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Molecular Toxicology
Joy PateSpecializing in the area of corpus luteum function. Primary research interests focus on the regulation of luteolysis, prostaglandin production by the corpus luteum, and the interactions between the immune system & the reproductive system.
Professor of Reproductive Physiology
C. Lee Rumberger and Family Chair in Agricultural Sciences
Director, Center for Reproductive Biology and Health
Gary PerdewMechanisms of dioxin toxicity mediated through the Aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR). Role of the AHR in the control of inflammation and lipid synthesis; potential use of the AHR as a therapeutic target.
John T. and Paige S. Smith Professor in Agricultural Sciences
Justin PritchardWe use systems and synthetic biology approaches to understand and control drug resistance. Potential projects include experimental and computational components. Students would receive careful training in the fundamentals of molecular biology, and be pushed to apply their understanding directly to clinical problems. Experiments performed in the lab interface with quantitative measurements and models, so potential students would end their PhD with a rigorous grounding in quantitative approaches to biology.
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Connie Jo RogersRole of changes in energy balance and related nutritional factors on inflammation, immune regulation and cancer risk using both animal models and human subjects.
Assistant Professor and Occupant of the Broadhurst Career Development Professorship for the Study of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
Melissa RollsThe Rolls lab investigates the cellular basis of neuronal polarity and neuronal responses to injury including degeneration and regeneration.
Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Director, Center for Cellular Dynamics
Chair, Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Biosciences program
Lorraine SantyEpithelial cells form barriers that divide different compartments in the body. These cells are normally stationary but become migratory during processes such as the repair of tissue damage or the metastasis of epithelial tumors. The Santy lab is interested in understanding the signals and processes that initiate migration in epithelial cells.
Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Anthony SchmittThe process of paramyxovirus particle formation by budding: identifying and characterizing viral proteins used in budding, and learning how these manipulate host budding machinery to allow virus release.
Associate Professor of Molecular Immunology and Infectious Diseases
Scott ShowalterBiophysical Chemistry applied to solution NMR spectroscopy of partially disordered proteins. NMR studies of protein dynamics coupled with computational and theoretical studies of the coupling between nuclear spin relaxation and molecular motion.
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Troy Sutton• Animal models of influenza • Airborne transmission of influenza viruses • Evolution of pandemic influenza viruses • Highly pathogenic avian influenza • Development of live-attenuated influenza vaccine platforms • High containment BSL3+ research
Assistant Professor of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Yong WangThe essential objective of our research is to apply nature and biology as design guidelines to the creation of biomimetic and bioinspired materials at both the nanoscale and macroscale level for drug delivery, clinical diagnosis, and regenerative medicine. We are particularly interested in using synthetic oligonucleotides and polymers to develop antibody-like nanomaterials, programmable protein delivery systems, and tissue-like nanostructured biomaterials.
Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Nanyin ZhangMy research focuses on neuroimaging method development and applications. One major project we are conducting is to elucidate the neural basis of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) signal using multi-modal approaches including multi-echo (ME)-rsfMRI, MR-compatible calcium signal recording, optogenetics and multi-laminar electrophysiology in awake rats. I am interested in the MCIBS program as this project (and several other related projects in my lab) have a significant cellular component.
Professor of Bioengineering
Xin ZhangThe Zhang lab aims to 1) develop chemical tools to monitor cellular stresses that influence protein folding in real time; 2) decipher how the energy landscapes associated with proper protein folding and function are regulated by the cellular folding environment; and 3) examine how this regulation leads to significant biological consequences.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Paul Berg Early Career Professorship in the Eberly College of Science
Siyang ZhengMy laboratory aims at developing and applying micro/nano technologies for biological and medical applications. On one hand, I am interested in studying miniaturized devices and systems that can be integrated with biological system in vitro and in vivo. On the other hand, I am eager to apply these technologies for fundamental biological research, clinic diagnosis and treatment. The research is highly multidisciplinary, interfacing at engineering, biological sciences, physical sciences, and medicine. Current focuses are on:
Associate Professor of Bioengineering